The races follow each other, but are not alike for Raphaël Lessard in the NASCAR pickup truck series.
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Two weeks after parading in the winner’s circle for the first time in his career, the young driver from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce was forced to retire on Saturday at 38e of the 134 laps in the test presented on the Kansas 1.5 mile oval.
After starting from tenth place when the green light was deployed, Lessard concluded the first segment at 11e rank, without being able to move up the peloton as he would have liked.
At four wide, it does not pass
From the initial round (38e) of the second segment, the situation got worse for the one who was in his 25e start in the third division of NASCAR.
While he found himself inside the track, four wide, Lessard was deported and could not avoid a slight touch with Brett Moffitt’s van which was to his right.
A chain reaction ensued that saw Lessard hitting the protective wall while dragging Tyler Ankrum in his wake. The Quebec pilot was able to reach the refueling pits despite a battered car.
When he arrived, the mechanics were busy trying to repair the damage. If he was able to resume the track after a few minutes, he was forced to retire on the next lap.
The damage was too great for him to continue his journey.
” A mistake from me “
“I was patient at the start of the race, even if the rear axle of my van was unstable,” he explained in an interview with Newspaper. I had to fight to keep my position. We tried to make fixes at the end of the first segment, but it didn’t work.
“Then at the start of the second restart, my van spun, probably because of the turbulence. I’m not sure if there is contact with Moffitt, but I lost control and there was nothing more to do. It’s a mistake on my part, I should have waited before attacking. “
In Lessard’s defense, raises are perfect opportunities to gain positions. The door seemed open to him. Let’s face it, he’s a little hard on himself.
It was more a racing accident that caused his loss.
In the final ranking, Lessard’s name appears at 33e rank among the 36 entered. This is his worst result this year since his 37e place obtained in Pocono, last June, when he had also been involved in an accident.
At the wrong time …
“Raphael’s van had been out of control since the start of the race,” Ankrum remarked when he watched the footage, in an interview after the incident, on Fox Sports.
“I arrived in front of him at the wrong time, in the wrong place,” he continued. There was no more room to avoid it. “
Ankrum, who is one of eight drivers to qualify for the second round of the playoffs, will now have to work extra hard to secure his place among the four finalists who will battle for the title on November 6 in Phoenix, in Arizona.
Moffitt was luckier despite his fright at the start of the race. Victorious on Saturday for the first time this season, he is the first of the four drivers to secure his place in the final.
Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Grant Enfinger, Chandler Smith, Christian Eckes, Timothy Peters, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus and Trevor Bayne completed the top 10 in Texas.
The next stop in the NASCAR Pickup Truck Series will take place on Sunday (noon) October 25, at the Texas Oval Track.